FG team repatriates 481 from Libya

  • FG team repatriates 481 from Libya

FG team repatriates 481 from Libya

The Federal Government has repatriated another 493 Nigerians from Libya.

Officials of the Federal and Rivers State Governments on Sunday received 491 Libyan returnees at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa. Mustapha Maihaja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and a representative of the National Security Adviser.

Also, Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, who led the delegation to Libya assured of the protection of Nigerians in Libya as well as the safe return for any Nigerian who is desirous of returning home.

The new returnees would arrive Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State, he said.

The minister said that the political and security challenges in that country made it hard to secure the evacuation of some Nigerians back home. We faced a lot of challenges but we were able to overcome them and brought you back to Nigeria.

"We saw the very hard conditions in which you were held, we felt for you for the very traumatic experience you went through and our hearts really went out to you and I must say that each an every one of us at that delegation really felt so proud of you".

Ekhomu lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering the repatriation of the Nigerians, saying the government must also do the "responsible thing" of ascertaining their true identities "as there is a high probability that a few of them may be ISIS fighters escaping from Libya, or coming to Nigeria to execute a possible terrorist plot".

"We made it clear to the Libyan Government that we want to see all Nigerians there".

He said the programme is an ongoing process that will continue till all the stranded Nigerians return home.

Onyeama said: "We know that many of you were trafficked; we know that many of you were taken to Libya without your consent".

Nigerians represent the largest national group among African migrants travelling to Libya, which they use as an exit point before attempting the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean to Italy in search of a better life. Babandede stated this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the findings by members of a Federal Government delegation to Libya.

The team that received the 491 returnees included Immigration officials, NEMA staff, NAPTIP, military personnel and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have put necessary logistics in place for a hitch-free evacuation.

We are collaborating with relevant state governments to receive these returnees at the Reception Centre.

"We don't want everyone to think that every Nigerian in Libya is in slave camps, or that every Nigerian in Libya is being exploited".